Trainers Training on Child Protection Rights
16th & 17th March 2016, Chennai
Despite several protective legislations and government orders child rights violations continue to increase due to physical and mental torture, economic exploitation of children, child marriage, sexual abuse in schools, hostels and neighborhood, torture and abuse in children’s/ juvenile homes, child trafficking and forced child prostitution including children being used for pornography. Abuse of children including corporal punishment in schools, declining child sex ratio and sex ratio at birth, denial of basic right to life, security and dignity, caused by evictions and displacement, discrimination of various types etc., is the reality, both, in urban and rural areas. The state enforcement wing (police), prosecution and judiciary are not taking adequate action. The response to these violations from Public servants is dismal.
Children in detention, custody (police station, prisons, Institutions under JJ Act and Institute of Mental Health) often suffer grievousviolations of their basic rights. Physical abuse is common and most victims face deep emotional trauma including during arrest and interrogation. In many cases, even the most fundamental principles of due process are violated. Child protection is also a special concern in situations of emergency, humanitarian crisis and riots caused by dominant class, caste and communal attacks causing poverty, food insecurity, and displacement, culture of fear and lack of access to basic civic services.
These are some of the issues related to child rights protection in Tamilnadu. For halting these violations and ensuring safe and better environment for children, Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation together with Centre for Child Rights Development organised a two day Trainers Training on Child Protection Rights for Child Rights defenders on 16th and 17th March 2016 at Chennai. Totally 84 participants among whom 41 are women from 37 Non – governmental organizations working for child rights participated. Among this are activists from 24 organisations who are working especially for Dalit children.
The resource persons namely Ms. D. Geetha (Advocate, Madras High Court), Mr.R.Diwakaran (Advocate, Madras High Court), Mr.R. Murugappan (Programme Coordinator, SASY), Ms. A. Gandhimathi (Director, Law Trust), Mr.R.Vidyasagar (Former Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF), Ms.Virgil D’Samy (Director, Arunodhaya), Ms.P.Selvi (Advocate, Madras High Court), Mr.S.Thenpandian (Advocate), Mr.A.Devaneyan (Director, Thozhamai), Mr.S.Thomas Jayaraj (Director, CCRD), Ms.V.Indira (Sr.Coordinator, HRF), Mr.S.Vijayashankar (Advocate, Sr.Coordinator, HRF) facilitated this Training.
Objective of this Training:
- To equip delegates with the linkages between UNCRC, Constitution of India and other International Laws that governs child protection
- To equip delegates with strategies for enforcing existing child rights protection laws
- To provide delegates with the knowledge of critiquing existing laws, amending existing laws, drafting alternative new laws and campaigning for changes in policies.
- Strategise to collect and document district wise – area wise data on child rights violations for filing petitions before concerned enforcement officials, government authorities, statutory commissions and litigation
- Strategise for child rights monitoring and advocacy including fact-finding, lobbying and negotiating skills and using Right to Information.
- To strengthen Child Right Defenders in Tamilnadu and create an informal network of defenders across the State.
The following Action Plans were discussed:
- Continuous monitoring of child neglect and abuse and state action against violence.
- Periodic visit to JJ homes for documenting case studies in their concerned working areas.
- Activate existing system by using Right To Information Act.
At the end of the training it was decided that HRF will be the resource and assisting center for guiding child rights defenders (participants) while protecting child rights.
League for Child Rights a campaign working for protection of child rights merged with Tamil Nadu Child Rights Protection Network (TNCRPN). Tamil Nadu Child Rights Protection Network strengthened by 67 new memberships. The participants agreed to continue their work of protecting child rights under TNCRPN. The general body meeting of TNCRPN will be organise on 16th April 2016 at Trichy.